My sugar cravings used to have a hold on me.
I always thought I had a pretty healthy diet with a good mix of veggies, protein and healthy fats. But, I also used to eat a lot of natural sugars, because I thought they were healthy – dates were my weakness. I couldn’t understand why I would get out of control cravings and eventually I’d give in to chocolate and ice cream…
A friend of mine had recommended the 8-Week Program to me years ago.
I’d toyed with the idea ever since then, but as I was training for the Gold Coast Marathon and really struggling, I thought if I was going to do it, I should do it now! And just like that, I signed up.
The weekend before the 8-Week Program started, I ran the toughest 17km of my life.
The joints in my feet were hurting, and my hips, hamstrings and ITB (the ligament that runs from your pelvic bone to your shin) were all playing up after long runs. I knew then, that I if I was going to run a marathon in two months time I needed to seriously reassess my diet.
Then, I started the Program – and it was easier than I thought.
Having the recipes and shopping lists all laid out meant it was so easy to stick to and I was trying delicious new foods and combinations that I’d never thought of before.
All of a sudden, I could run 30km as a training session.
It was really quite remarkable how quickly I was able to step up the distances in training. About five weeks into the program, I did my longest ever pre-marathon run, as well as running the highest mileage week I ever had. The biggest impact for me was how quickly I was recovering from my runs – after running more than 30km, I felt like I’d barely run 5km. Although I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to fuel myself during the race, I took my tricky questions to the online community forums, and the experts got back to me so fast. They recommended a recipe to make my own energy gels, which worked perfectly for the race!
I completed the race 7 minutes ahead of my PB!
I know that without quitting sugar I wouldn’t have been anywhere near that time. To go from barely running, to running a marathon in 8 weeks is tough, however I managed to not only complete a marathon, but I also got a personal best time which I’d been chasing for almost 2 years.
Now, I’m training for my biggest challenge yet… a 100km race!
The Hut 2 Hut race is through the Victorian High Country, some of the toughest terrain in Australia and has a 6000m elevation gain – so it’s going to be tricky. But, I’ll definitely be training and racing sugar-free because I just feel so much better.
Everyone should give the sugar-free life a try! It’s surprisingly easier than you think and the benefits are incredible.